The beauty and purity of nature may last forever if human kinds are not destroying it selfishly for their own needs. For some people, it is too hard to resist, even if what we have to do is just simply protect it from our selfishness.
However, not everyone on earth is a destroyer of nature, some are trying as hard as they can to protect it. Even a single man named Jadav Payeng has succesfully planted a forest in his hometown, even if he did it solely to protect his land.
Some countries in this world have also fought the destruction of nature with total commitment to earth. Here we will show you how Bhutan, Republic of Palau, and Rwanda do their commitments to protect the earth from destructive hands.
Bhutan: More Forest, More Happiness
Bhutan can be considered as a small country, even it is one of the smallest countries in the world indeed. However, this small country maybe the one that have the biggest commitment to earth based on their natural conservation.
At all times, 60 percent of its land are forest, and those forests are preserved. This is the biggest part of land in a country to be preserved as forest. It makes Bhutan the home of the highest percentage of land in the Asia continent.
Being highly committed to conservation doesn’t make people in the country feeling bad. Instead, conservation to nature is one of four pillars of Gross National Happiness philosophy in Bhutan, and indeed Bhutan is one of the happiest country on earth.
How did it start? Among these past 5 centuries, the last 50 years was the time when Bhutan’s natural resources most threatened. The changes in the country to compete and build relationship with modernized outer world forced Bhutan to develop in a more modernized way.
Exploitation of natural resources is inevitable to build a modern life, in addition to growing population which means more resources are exploited. Realizing that their natural resources are under the threat of modernization, Bhutan government felt that they need to do some act.
They call it balancing the scale, where modern life keeps developing but natural resources are still protected. “We need to balance the need for economic development, like hydropower and tourism, with the need to protect natural resources,” said Dechen Dorji, Bhutan Representative in WWF.
Since then, Bhutan government worked together with nonprofit organizations to protect its preserved forests. Benefits from funding and ecotourism are fully allocated to preserve and expand the forests.
Nowadays, in total of 5 million acres forests are protected and considered as natural conservation. 5 million acres of happiness for the people of Bhutan.
Republic Of Palau: An Oath To Be Responsible
Being an archipelago with more than 200 pristine limestone and volcanic islands, Republic of Palau is a famous tourist destination for its natural beauty. And because of its beauty, Republic of Palau wants to preserve its beauty from destruction.
Republic of Palau is famously known with its beautiful diving spots, shimmering turquoise lagoons and wonderful beaches. The northern Pacific nation which became independent in 1994 has been thriving from its tourism.
Tourism is indeed the mainstay of economy for them, the number of people visiting the archipelago is considerably high. And year by year, the number keeps on increasing, bringing higher risk of destruction to the beautiful nature in the country.
That’s why, to protect the beauty and functions of the nature, Palau’s government issued a regulation that is maybe the first, and the only one in the world. Every single visitor of the archipelago needs to sign a special oath.
Known as Palau Pledge, the oath ask the visitors to swear that they will be responsible for their acts that they do. This pledge, in the form of a stamp is given to every single visitor just as soon as they land their feet on the country.
The pledge is presented in various language since the visitors of the archipelago come from many countries. Mainly, the visitors of Republic of Palau are Asians, which have various cultures and languages.
Palau Pledge was first announced during the launch of Palau Legacy Project. And since the first announcement, the act received worldwide support. Even some organizations stated that they are ready to fund the act to protect the nature.
Rwanda: Plastic Bag Is A Crime
When entering the airport, the border guards and customs officers will check your luggage to prevent visitors from bringing something harmful like illegal drugs, narcotics, firearms, or any other harmful things. But if you visit Rwanda, those things are not their main concern.
If you visit Rwanda, your luggage will be checked for something that you may find harmless but actually harmful to the nature, plastic bag. “They’re as bad as drugs,” said Mberabagabo, a border guard of Rwanda to New York Times.
In Rwanda, smugglers are those who bring plastic bags when entering the country, and indeed plastic smugglers exist. Those smugglers bring their illegal stuffs by tucking it into bras, hide it in the underwear, or coil it tightly around the arms.
Plastic bag is something illegal in Rwanda, and the country bans its citizens to import, produce, sell, and even use it. However, there are some special exceptions for specific industries like pharmacy and hospitals.
Those who intentionally ignore the law will be fined, and sometimes even sent to jail. There is another consequence for those people, but this is not a better option. The other option is being forced to make public confession, another term for public shaming.
Rwanda doesn’t take the plastic problem lightly, people can go to jail for six months to one-year long. Even some stores that were caught wrapping their products with plastic cellophane have been shut down, and their owners required to sign apology letters.
This strict rule was issued officially by the governments because plastic bag is considered to be the cause of flooding in the country. And in some cases, crops cannot grow well because plastic waste has prevented rainwater to penetrate the soil.